VISCERAL NURSOLOGY

Contributor: Ellen E. Swanson, MA, RN, BSN, PHN, HNB-BC (Retired)

Recently I had a professional practice story published in the American Holistic Nurses Association journal, “Beginnings”. Several responses to the story motivated me to think about the potential use of professional practice stories in nursing education. I shared with a local nursing professor and the magazine editor the possibility of using professional practice stories to have students identify what nursing theories and ways of knowing they saw in a given story.

This prompted a literature review on the topic of storytelling in nursing. I also recalled that I had a section about storytelling in my graduate position paper of 1998. One of the references for that paper was “To a Dancing God” by Sam Keen (1970; 1990). I reviewed his quote: “A visceral theology majors in the sense of touch rather than the sense of hearing.” (p. 159). I immediately said to myself that if there can be visceral theology, there can be visceral Nursology!

And what would visceral Nursology look like? Definitions of visceral include “proceeding from the instinctive, bodily, or deep abdominal place rather than intellectual motivation.” This brought to mind two concepts: the felt sense and aesthetic knowing.

I first explored the concept of the felt sense in 2007, and continued to read more about it over time. One way I came to understand the felt sense is as an immediate precursor to intuitive insights.

The following statements about ‘felt sense’ are taken from two books which I found quite helpful. The first book is Focusing (1979) by Eugene T. Gendlin. The second book is Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma (1997) by Peter A. Levine. A more recent book, Your Body Knows the Answer: Using Your Felt Sense to Solve Problems, Effect Change & Liberate Creativity (2014) by David I. Rome teaches how to access the felt sense.

  1. The felt sense is a difficult concept to define with words, as language is a linear process and the felt sense is a non-linear experience. Consequently, dimensions of meaning are lost in the attempt to articulate this experience. (Levine p. 67)
  2. A felt sense is not a mental experience but a physical one. Physical. A bodily awareness of a situation or person or event. An internal aura that encompasses everything you feel and know about the given subject at a given time – encompasses it and communicates it to you all at once rather than detail by detail. (Gendlin p. 32)
  3. Perhaps the best way to describe the felt sense is to say that it is the experience of being in a living body that understands the nuances of its environment by way of its responses to that environment. (Levine p. 69)
  4. In many ways, the felt sense is like a stream moving through an ever-changing landscape…..once the setting has been interpreted and defined by the felt sense, we will blend into whatever conditions we find ourselves. This amazing sense encompasses both the content and climate of our internal and external environments. Like the stream, it shapes itself to fit those environments. (Levine p. 69-70)
  5. The felt sense can be influenced – even changed by our thoughts – yet it’s not a thought, it’s something we feel. (Levine p. 70)
  6. The felt sense is a medium through which we experience the fullness of sensation and knowledge about ourselves. (Levine p. 8)
  7. Nowadays the phrase, “trust your gut” is used commonly. The felt sense is the means through which you can learn to hear this instinctual voice. (Levine p. 72)
  8. The felt sense heightens our enjoyment of sensual experiences and can be a doorway to spiritual states. (Levine p. 72)
  9. One must go to that place where there are not words but only feeling. At first there may be nothing there until a felt sense forms. Then when it forms, it feels pregnant. The felt sense has in it a meaning you can feel, but usually it is not immediately open. Usually you will have to stay with a felt sense for some seconds until it opens. The forming, and then the opening of a felt sense, usually takes about thirty seconds, and it may take you three or four minutes, counting distractions, to give it the thirty seconds of attention it needs. When you look for a felt sense, you look in the place you know without words, in body-sensing. (Gendlin p. 86)

I was so relieved to see how I had practiced nursing for decades put into words. I couldn’t always explain how I knew the effective interventions that seemed to just ‘happen’. I didn’t feel free to explore this in the non-holistic based career roles the first 30 years of my career. My graduate work in the late 1990’s gave me freedom to explore more holistic ways of thinking and practicing, but still doing it all rather privately. Membership in the Minnesota Holistic Nurses Association also gave me colleagues with whom to share more holistically.

The next movement toward being more open about my practice came when I learned about Modeling and Role Modeling Theory in 2012, two years before my retirement! Perhaps if I had been more open to nursing theories earlier, I wouldn’t have felt like I needed to hide how I practiced all those years. Listening, presence, and putting myself in the shoes of the other were always three of my stronger interventions. To see a theory include this latter one was such a relief. And it was in studying Modeling and Role Modeling that I learned there were a variety of ways of knowing, and aesthetic knowing was one of them.

However, I did not understand aesthetic knowing as fully until the more recent Nursology posts. I experience sheer delight with this learning. I can finally acknowledge my way of practicing to my nursing community. Chinn & Kramer (2018 p. 142) define aesthetic knowing as “An intuitive sense that detects all that is going on and calls forth a response, and you act spontaneously to care for the person or family in the moment.” It involves sensations as opposed to intellectuality. Chinn & Kramer (2018) also say “Aesthetic knowing is what makes possible knowing what to do and how to be in the moment, instantly, without conscious deliberation.” In other words, I have to not only let my head get out of the way, but also not let my head talk me out of aesthetic knowing, in both my professional life and personal life.

And so it is for me, that aesthetic knowing is Visceral Nursology. I now have a theory, an organization, and a way of knowing that supports how I practice.

REFERENCES

Chinn, P.L. & Kramer, M.K. (2018). Knowledge Development in Nursing: Theory and Process. (10th Ed.). Elsevier. St. Louis, MO.

Erickson, H.L. (Ed). (2006). Modeling and Role-Modeling: A View from the Client’s World. Unicorns Unlimited. Cedar Park, TX.

Gendlin, E. T. (1979). Focusing. (2nd ed.) Bantam Books. NY.

Keen, S. (1970, 1990). To a Dancing God: Notes of a Spiritual Traveler. Harper Collins. San Francisco.

Levine, P.A. with Frederick, A. (1997). Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma. North Atlantic Books. Berkeley, CA.

Rome, D.I. (2014). Your Body Knows the Answer: Using Your Felt Sense to Solve Problems, Effect Change & Liberate Creativity. Shambhala. Boston & London.

About Ellen Swanson

Ellen Swanson

Ellen E. Swanson is retired from a 46 year nursing career that included ortho-rehab, mental health, OR, care management, consulting, and supervision. She also had a private practice in holistic nursing for 15 years, focusing on health and wellness teaching and counseling. She served on the leadership council for the Minnesota Holistic Nurses Association for ten years.
She enjoys writing that incorporates holistic concepts, whether through storytelling or her booklet about Alzheimer’s or her book about healing the hierarchy.

Structure and Design as an Expression of Nursing’s Ontology

“When I walk in the door of the College of Nursing building I feel different.  There is something deeply peaceful about this place.” “I can’t put my finger on it, but when I’m here I can think, feel, and connect to myself…I’m present ”. “It’s not like any other building on campus. It’s about studying nursing from the inside out”.

Over the 15 years that I’ve been fortunate enough to call Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing (CELCON) my home I’ve heard these and many similar comments about being in the College of Nursing’s building. I joined the faculty in 2006 when the building was new, and my direct experience of the building was one of the factors that drew me to this College. The ontology of nursing was vividly re-presented in the building’s architecture and design. The design of the building was an intentional process, meticulously planned and implemented by Anne Boykin, Dean at the CELCON for over 30 years, co-author of the theory of Nursing as Caring, and a transformational leader. The focus of the discipline of nursing: caring, human wholeness, and the interrelationship of wellbeing to the human-environment relationship (Smith, 2019) informed the creation of this “home” that truly reflected the heart and soul of nursing. Dr. Boykin collaborated with architects who understood her vision and captured it in the structure and design of the building. It is an example of creating living spaces that reflect foundational values (Boykin, Touhy & Smith, 2021).

The College of Nursing building was created to be a healing environment that reflected three guiding ideas: 1) the College’s philosophy of caring, including its definition of nursing; 2) a reverence for the environment and its centrality to wellbeing; and 3) the harmonious flow of energy through attention to structure and design, referred to as feng shui in Chinese philosophy. (Smith, 2019, p. 290). “The purpose of the building was to create a living, breathing place that invites, teaches, houses, protects and nurtures” (Boykin & Raines, 2006, p. 45).

Having a home for the College of Nursing was Anne Boykin’s dream, and a generous philanthropist and fellow nurse and friend, Christine E. Lynn, funded the building. The building is 75,000 square feet with three floors, with a circular design to reflect wholeness and connectedness. “The College is dedicated to Caring: advancing the science, practicing the art, studying its meaning, and living caring day-to-day”. Nursing is defined as “nurturing the wholeness of person-environment through caring” (https://nursing.fau.edu/about/college-at-a-glance/vision-and-mission.php). This core dedication to the mission is cast in the terrazzo floor of the atrium of the building as the “dance of caring persons”. It is a visual reminder of the College’s philosophy and model of relating. The dance is grounded in respect and valuing of all persons who are encouraged and supported in a culture that values persons living caring and growing in caring. (https://nursing.fau.edu/about/college-at-a-glance/index.php).

The atrium faces a garden with trees and plants known for their healing properties, rocking chairs and benches, and a labyrinth, an ancient symbol of self-reflection and wholeness. Walking the labyrinth is a journey to our own center and back again out into to the world. (Boykin & Raines, 2006, p. 46). This labyrinth is unique in that it is oval rather than round; its designer felt that the shape represented the face, the place of human connection between nurses and others. The healing garden is an environment for students, staff and faculty enjoy. Palm trees and other plants are around the building. Bamboo is on each side of the entrance of the building is a symbol of blessings within. The color of the exterior and interior of the building is mostly earth tones, a nurturant element that most closely represents nursing.

View from the 2nd floor of the Atrium that looks out at the garden, featuring the “Dance of Caring Persons” image embedded in the floor.

This unitary perspective on person-environment integrality led to creating a “green” building, one that embraces principles of sustainability and stewardship of the earth. The building is designated as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold-certified building. It features minimal destruction of the earth surrounding the building, water savings through low flow toilets and recycled water for garden irrigation, healthy indoor air and natural light throughout the building, construction using materials and appliances that decrease impact on deforestation and the environment, use of products and supplies that are natural and non-chemical, and energy efficiency. (Boykin & Raines, 2006).

The feng shui design principles are based on creating environments in which people feel comfortable and supported. Feng shui masters and experts in healing architecture consulted from the beginning on the design elements. Before the groundbreaking the feng shui master engaged the College community in a ritual blessing ceremony to honor the land and prepare the earth to accept and nurture this new home. (Boykin & Raines, 2006). The front of the building faces north, the most propitious direction. The back of the building borders on a lake. Water is a source of life, and this water source is visually incorporated through river rock in the garden that visually is contiguous to a swath of black tile that flows throughout the building. A bagua or feng shui blueprint guided the placement of different areas in the College. The five elements of earth, water, fire, wood and metal are used in particular areas of the building along with the colors and shapes they represent. For example, “helpful persons” on the first floor is the office of Student Support Services housing advisors and assistant deans, while on the third floor it is the Dean’s Suite. The element of wood using block shapes permeates the design in this area along with the color green. Another example is that the Office of Research and Scholarship is located in the “prosperity” area of the bagua represented by the fire element with angular shapes and the color red.

The three floors of the building have different purposes; the first floor is the welcoming space for the community. The second floor is focused on spaces for students including large and smaller classrooms with connectivity for distance learning, a kitchen with communal eating space, the lab area for simulation and skills practice, and individual and group study areas, a large doctoral student study room and the Center for Nursing Research and Scholarship. The third floor has the suites for the Dean, administrative support staff, eminent scholars, associate deans, faculty offices, several conference rooms and a faculty kitchen and eating space.

Other unique features that reflect nursing’s ontology are open spaces for gatherings and events, a museum and the Archives of Caring (the only archive in the world that houses the work of caring scholars), a large yoga or exercise space with a bamboo floor, a holistic space for classes and a room with a massage table, and a “sacred space”, a room for meditation, reflection or contemplation.

The ontology, or essential nature of nursology, is reflected clearly in the structure and design of the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing. It is an environment that nurtures the growth of students, faculty and staff in bringing the values to life in all missions of the College: teaching, research, practice and service. “Through intentional design features the concepts of reflection/mindfulness, aesthetic appreciation, healing environments, human-environment integrality, holistic health, and the significance of self-care to the being-becoming of the nurse are prominent”. (Smith, 2019, p. 290).

Sources

Boykin, A. & Raines, D. (2006). Design and structure as an expression of caring. International
Journal for Human Caring, 10(4), 45-49.

Boykin, A., Touhy, T.A. & Smith, M.C. (2021). Evolution of a caring-based college of nursing.
In M. Hills, J. Watson & C. Cara (Eds.), Creating a caring science curriculum: An
emancipatory pedagogy for nursing (pp. 187-200). New York, NY: Springer Publishing.

Smith, M.C. (2019). Advancing caring science through the missions of teaching,
research/scholarship, practice and service. In W. Rosa, S. Horton-Deutsch & J. Watson (Eds.), A Handbook for Caring Science: Expanding the Paradigm. (pp. 285-301) New York, NY: Springer Publishing.

Smith, M.C. (2019) Regenerating the focus of the discipline of Nursing. Advances in Nursing
Science. 42(1), 3-16,

The Nursology Initiative in the Philippines

Contributor: Rudolf Cymorr Kirby P. Martinez, Ph.D.

Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) is the largest and the national referral center for pediatric cases in the Philippines. I started my professional journey here as a staff nurse after I finished my MA in nursing, and soon after, I completed my Ph.D. I transitioned to academia. After eight years from the time I resigned as a staff nurse, I was appointed as the consultant nursologist of the hospital. This is the first time a nurse assumes a consultancy role in PCMC and the first time that the official designation is that of consultant nursologist. How it came about was serendipitous, to say the least. It all started during the pandemic when the inherent weakness of health care institutions, especially in a developing country like the Philippines, was exposed because of the pandemic’s burden. During this time, the value of nurses received the much-needed attention they deserve. Also, around this time, I realized the fragility of life and the uncertainty of things because of the pandemic. As I was looking for a way to help nurses working in the service sector, one of my mentees in graduate school mentioned that their hospital is currently creating initiatives for their nurses. This hospital was my former employer, PCMC.

I took the initiative to write a letter offering my expertise as a nursologist to the institution’s executive director, Dr. Julius Lecciones, whose office is taking the lead on creating this initiative for nurses. I wrote in the letter how a nursologist could benefit not only the nurses in the hospital but ultimately the children whose lives they are caring for. As a response to the letter, I was given an audience with the department managers, physicians, and some nurse supervisors. During the presentation, I focused on explaining what nursology is all about and proposed a framework for how the expertise of a nursologist could benefit the hospital and its community.

Why “Nursology”?

In the Philippine context, all people educated in nurses are called “nars” (nurse) regardless of where they practice. But most people would associate nurses with those who are working in the service sector as practitioners. (We do not have advanced practice in the Philippines at the moment) so all nurses working in the service sector are “the nurses” in the eyes of the general population. There is a prevailing belief that the penultimate role and function of a nurse in the hospital setting, not academe or research, that to work in the hospital is their reason for being. This is the reason why I deliberately choose “nursologist” to somehow bring into the consciousness of people that nursing is a professional discipline and its practice is not only confined within the four walls of the hospital. From there, I hope that the label we use for nurses will evolve into nursology and its different expressions. I have the same appreciation of nursology similar to some of the contributors from nursology.net, that is it “A name for discipline of nursing, a body of knowledge, a research methodology, and a practice methodology about and for phenomena of concern to nurses” (see “An Invitation to Dialogue about Disciplinary Terms. I am also heavily influenced by Rogerian Science of Unitary Human Beings and the Theory of Nursing as Caring by Boykin & Schoenhoffer: A caring practice means that the knowledge of nursing is expressed by the nurse with the intent to be caring, and their expressions are appreciated by the other person as caring actions.  In addition, I believe that nursology is grounded in the fundamental patterns of knowing in nursing, first identified by Barbara Carper in 1978.

Launching the Nursology Initiative

During the initial talk on the establishment of the Nursology Initiative, I gave a presentation and emphasized in it the unique perspective that a nursologist could bring to the table in terms of nursing research, practice innovation, and creating a center for caring practice. After the presentation, they accepted the framework and further suggested that as part of the consultancy, I will also be a part of the institution’s multi-sector governance council (MSGC), where my expertise as a nursologist would provide a unique perspective on various issues tackled within the board.

Besides being part of the MSGC, my role as a consultancy nursologist is to assist the institution by providing insights, technical inputs, and expertise grounded on nursology on the following matters:

  • Development of a nursing research unit that focuses on human-health research and EBP grounded on nursology
  • Practice innovation with an emphasis on palliative care and caring science
  • Creation of a Center for Caring Practice

I also give short lectures on nursology and other nursing-related topics when needed. I was also given a permanent column for their newsletter aptly called “The Nursologist Corner,” where I share my opinion on issues concerning nursing, health, and wellness sent to me by various members of the community

This was the initial nature of my engagement with the institution as we are continuously exploring the nature of this partnership since this is the first of its kind in the Philippines. The PCMC Nursology Initiative Program is initially under the Executive Director’s Office, and the consultant nursologist liaise directly with the executive director.

During the contract signing, I gave a message to the administrators and nurse managers present, emphasizing that although society needs the expertise of nurses as clinicians, it is not the end-of-it of nursing. There is more to nursing than bedside practice. It is not the clinical skill that makes a nurse a nurse; it is our unique perspective and appreciation of things grounded in our disciplinary body of knowledge. I believe that one of the essential roles of a nursologist in a hospital is the empowerment of nurses and, with it, the advancement of their clinical practice. Nursologists help in creating systems and processes that allow for the empowerment of nurses to happen.

For so long, nurses in the Philippines are seen as second-class health care providers, merely skilled technicians, simply because it seems that some nurses have forgotten their unique disciplinary perspectives and are operating in a system that is not grounded in nursing. As I envision, a nursologist could help nurses remember who they are and the unique perspective they could offer.

An initiative such as the consultant nursologist might offer another model for bridging the gap between the science that is nursing and the art by which it is practiced in the clinical setting.

Memorandum of Agreement signing with Dr. Julius Lecciones, PCMC’s Executive Director,
June 10, 2021
Dr. Lecciones giving his opening message and sharing the story of how the Nursology Initiative came to be. The short program was department managers of various offices and nurse supervisors (those in green scrub suits).
Dr. Lecciones and me surrounded by the audience at the signing ceremony

About Rudolf Cymorr Kirby P. Martinez, Ph.D

Rudolf Cymorr Kirby P. Martinez, Ph.D., is currently the consultant nursologist of Philippine Children’s Medical Center and is a full-time Professor at San Beda University College of Nursing. He also teaches part-time at the graduate school program of Arellano University, Florentino Cayco Memorial School Graduate School of Nursing, and Holy Angels University – School of Nursing and Allied Medical Science. He is an advocate of nursology, caring science, and palliative care and consider himself a scholar of Rogerian Science of Unitary Human Being. His current advocacy includes the decolonization of nursing education through the integration of caring science and indigenous culture and folkloric practices into the nursing curricula.

Nursology and the Bold Future of Nursing

Recently I was invited to give a presentation for faculty and students at the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing at Villanova University, based on my keynote address at the March 2019 conference “Nursing Theory: A Fifty Year Perspective, Past, Present and Future.” Download the text of that speech here.

True to the lifeways of pandemic time, I could only be present with people at Villanova University virtually, and developed a set of slides for the presentation. So in a spirit of sharing, here are the slides – the message of this presentation calls for all to boldly claim the essence and value of nursing/nursology, and to recognize barriers that stand in the way of fully enacting this essence in our practice. (Note: if the slides do not show to the end, view the slides here instead)

Guest post: Aesthetic Knowing: A Transformative Encounter

Contributor: Bibiane Dimanche Sykes

Knowing is an elusive concept. It is fluid, and it is internal to the knower (Chinn & Kramer, 2018). Carper (1978) identified four fundamental patterns of knowing for an understanding of the conceptual structure of nursing knowledge. The four patterns are classified logically to elucidate aspects of empirics, personal knowledge, ethics and aesthetic knowing in nursing. Here, the pattern of aesthetic knowing is demonstrated through the actions, comportment, thoughts, behaviors and exchanges of the nurse’s relationship with the patient. It is aesthetic knowing that allows us to navigate when faced with nuanced situations.

The Call

It was late on a Tuesday morning. I was pleased to finally have a few days of rest from work and was already planning how I was going to spend my second day off, when I heard the ring tone from my phone. I glimpsed at the phone screen and noticed that it was a number I was unfamiliar with, so I decided to skip the call and told myself that they can always leave me a voice message if it is important. Ten minutes later, I heard the same familiar ringtone of my phone. This time it was coming from work. “Oh my,” I thought, what could it be…. did I forget to enter a note on the computer, or have I failed to sign the medication sheet? When I picked up the phone, the Director of Nursing at the subacute nursing facility I worked for was on the line. She mentioned that Ms. Smith’s situation took a turn for the worse; her condition had weakened overnight. According to Nancy, the Director of Nursing, Ms. Smith had been asking to see me since yesterday, and it was her nephew whose desperate call I had moments earlier ignored.

Nurse-Patient Relationship

Ms. Smith was a 75-year-old widow who moved about 7 months ago to the hospice unit where I worked as a charge nurse. Her overall health and well-being had since deteriorated. Her cancer had metastasized to other adjacent organs of her body, and treatment was no longer a viable option. She had very little family support. Her only living relative was a nephew who visited occasionally. Although she had many other disciplines assigned to her care, she seemed to gravitate more towards me. I also enjoyed her company and spent many hours of my free time listening to her joys and regrets about life. I would play her favorite songs, encourage her to eat, to bathe, and to take her medications, before her pain became unbearable. She looked forward to the days I was at work, and I would always stop by her room for a chat whenever I had the chance. She confided in me and shared many of her life and death expectations, which included the minute details of her imminent death and funeral wishes. She and I developed a bond and maintained a caring nurse-patient relationship that encompassed understanding, trust and compassion.

The Encounter

It was already afternoon when I rushed into Ms. Smith’s room that Tuesday. She seemed agitated; however, she immediately became calm at the sound of my voice, telling her that it was going to be okay. As I was helping her take her prescribed medications, she appeared to be hallucinating. She kept on saying something about not being able to get on the bus. She was becoming restless and continued to repeat this for about an hour. I finally approached her and asked why she was not able to get on the bus. She opened her eyes for the first time since I entered her room and mumbled, “they wouldn’t let me, I don’t have money to pay for it.” I was devastated at the thought of that. I knew this day would come but still I was becoming emotional. I reminded myself that I needed to stay on course to help fulfill her wish of an undisturbed, smoothed transition. I thought for a second, what could I do to alleviate her suffering at this moment? I searched in my pocket and found a quarter. I slipped it into her hand and whispered in her ear, “use this for your bus fare, it’s going to be fine.” I felt her tight squeeze as she received the quarter, and less than five minutes later, Ms. Smith peacefully took her last breath with poise and dignity.

Aesthetic Knowing

Aesthetic knowing is what makes possible knowing what to do and how to be in the moment, instantly, without conscious deliberation (Chinn & Kramer, 2018). I am currently an adjunct professor, teaching nursing fundamental to first year students. Every semester, I share this experience with my students. It serves as the perfect introduction to the conceptual framework of the nursing discipline through the patterns of knowing (Carper, 1978). The patterns of knowing in nursing ultimately presents a tool for developing abstract and theoretical thinking in the classroom. It allows for broader, clearer perspectives and self-integration of the concepts of empirics, personal knowledge, ethics and finally aesthetic in nursing education (Carper, 1978). This transformative encounter that I had experienced with my patient embodies the true essence and elements of aesthetic knowing.

Sources

Carper, B. (1978). Fundamental patterns of knowing in nursing. ANS. Advances in Nursing Science, 1(1), 13–23. https://doi.org/10.1097/00012272-197810000-00004

Chinn, P. L. & Kramer, M. K. (2018). Knowledge Development in Nursing: Theory and Process. 10th Ed. Elsevier. St. Louis, MO.

Aesthetic Knowing. (2021, February 2). https://nursology.net/aesthetic-knowing/

About Bibiane Dimanche Sykes

Bibiane Dimanche Sykes is a student in the Doctorate of Nursing Education (EdD) Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. She earned a Master of Science degree in Nursing Education at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, New York. She’s an Adjunct Professor at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, New York and also works as a Clinical Nurse Quality Assurance in New York City. Bibiane is a wife and mother of 4 sons. She enjoys reading, traveling and prides herself in giving back to the community. She serves her community through various philanthropic and nursing organizations.

Virtual Nursing Theory Week – A Landmark Success!

Q – How on earth can we have a dynamic theory conference with 70 breakout sessions – on Zoom?

A – We are nurses — we will find a way!

And find a way we did!

Thanks to the amazing leadership and expert organizing skills of Leslie Nicoll (Editor of CIN: Computers Informatics Nursing), we found a way! Every day from March 17th through March 23rd, 140 nurses tuned in to one or more of the sessions scheduled throughout the week. There were three general sessions – one on the first day of the conference, another on the 6th day, and the final on the last day to close the week. The remaining sessions were 30-minute long “breakout” sessions based on the abstracts that had been submitted for the 2020 conference that had to be canceled due to the COVID pandemic. The presenters and attendees ranged from students and early-career scholars – to well-established and well-known nurse theorists. You can browse the detail of all of the sessions here!

Even though we are over a year into “pandemic culture” when everything has gone virtual, the technical challenges of doing this were huge. After all, we are not instructional technology experts! But Leslie organized each and every detail of the conference, and discovered a wonderful technology expert to give support for all technology aspects of the conference – Ray Harwood of Goodclix. Ray was tuned in to every moment, always ready to step in and solve each technical challenge, but also engaged with us to help make each session run smoothly for each presenter and for all of us attending. Ray says on his website: “Frankly, it’s not what I do, it’s how I do it that counts” – and nothing could be more true!

To compensate for the disappointment of the canceled 2020 conference and taking advantage of the virtual capabilities, Leslie laid out a daily schedule with no overlap in the breakout sessions, so that speakers had a full 30 minutes for their breakout sessions, and attendees were able to attend every single one of the sessions! Of course, hardly anyone was able to do this – but for those of us who were present for every session (or almost all), every moment was interesting – and also inspiring!

Top left clockwise: Brandon Blaine Brown, Chloe Littzen-Brown, Jane Hopkins-Walsh, Claire Valderama-Wallace, Patrick McMurray – Panelists in the March 22nd general session addressing “The Focus of the Discipline Reimagined from an Emancipatory Lens.”

Here are a range of comments and responses from the evaluations:

This conference was the most enriching and enlightening conference that I had attended in a long time. This is a great contribution to the growth of the profession.

You did an excellent job and I was surprised and pleased by the breadth of the presenters and the depth of some of the discussions. I loved hearing what the other nursologists were doing and it gave me hope to see nursology being supported and growing!

Holding it on zoom and for an entire week was just too much. We are already zoom fatigued and while you had no option, I think the conference would have been manageable if shorter duration. Our lives at our home offices don’t stop for virtual conferences; if we were on site, we could focus better and not worry about home duties. All conferences are experiencing this, I realize. Thank you for all your good work. 

In person conference would be better. If it is virtual, should be condensed, not so spread out, I appreciate your efforts. I know this zoom presentations are all new for everyone

It would be nice to have a remote option for next year

Ray was very supportive. The richness of this conference was incredible!

Structured well, solid content, great dialogue

This is just a busy time for me. The planning and program for this were excellent. I’ve heard from many how much they enjoyed this. I’m glad I have guidebook to look up what I missed. Really excellent work on this. I do like that it was on zoom. I am finding organizational memberships and conferences to be costly so I like this zoom as an option.

Let us think about a virtual nursing theory week every other year and an in person conference the other alternate year. I would not want to lose what we had with this VNTW by always having in person conferences. Or perhaps we can have a virtual component to in person conferences, so that colleagues who cannot travel can still participate.

I did not expect to enjoy the conference as much as I did. I learned so much. Not only about theory, also about who I am and ways that I could use nursing theory to informed nursing education and clinical practice. I liked not having to choose between two or more workshops.

I have loved the zoom format. I am surprised at the depth of connections with my colleagues through this format.

Awesomeness! Inspiring! Hope for the Future of Nursology!

If the next conference is offered in a hybrid format, I will definitely attend. I hope that it is and I highly encourage this conference to remain in some form of virtual format. This material is critical to the future of nursing as a discipline. 

So now — we trust the we will be able to gather in person at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Nursing! We will post information here on Nursology.net, and on the Nursology Nursing Theory website – so stay tuned and join us in Memphis!

Celebration! 2nd Anniversary of Nursology.net

. . . . it is worth reiterating the point that compared with atheoretical actions, those that are conceptually grounded have a higher probability of achieving their intended consequences. Not just because they are contemplated more intentionally but because the vast majority of . . . . theories/frameworks pay heed to the important messiness of context and the use of power. (1) Patricia Butterfield (2017, p. 9)

Nurses are thirsting for a meaningful practice, one that is based on nursing values and knowledge, one that is relationship centered, enabling the expression of the depth of our mission, and one that brings a much needed, missing dimension to current healthcare. (2) Margaret A. Newman, Marlaine C. Smith, Margaret Dexheimer Pharris and Dorothy Jones (2008, p. E25)

With a strong conviction of the vital importance of nursing’s own theories and frameworks, the Nursology.net management team embarked on the development of a website to provide current and accurate information about discipline-specific knowledge. We started the development of the site in the summer of 2018, with the goal of publicly announcing the site once we had at least 20 theories/models on the site, and at least 1 Exemplar in each of the “Exemplar” sections! We met that goal and officially launched the site on September 18th, 2018! Today, we have

Plus, a new section dedicated to nursing philosophy, a host of resources related to nursology knowledge development, a record of past nursology-related conferences (including proceedings, photos and other materials related to the conferences), information about events that will be happening in the future (despite the pandemic), and an unbroken record of blog posts every Tuesday!

I, Peggy Chinn, have served as the architect of the site and am responsible for the nitty-gritty work of putting it all together, but all of this is only possible because of the work of members of our team of nursology scholars who have identified and composed the content.

Here are reflections from members of our management and blogging teams in response to two questions:

  • How has nursology.net influenced your approach to teaching, research, or practice?
  • What do you anticipate for the future of the discipline, and the role of nursology.net in shaping that future?

How has nursology.net influenced your approach to teaching, research, or practice?

Jacqui Fawcett
The website is exceptionally useful as a resource for the PhD students I have the honor to teach, as well as all other students in our program., and as resource for colleagues who are “thirsting” for information about nursology discipline-specific knowledge. In addition, I cite the blogs in many of my publications—journal articles, book chapters—and presentations at conferences and as a guest lecturer for other nursology programs.

Marlaine Smith
When I’m with any student or faculty group I call attention to the nursology.net site and describe the many resources available.  I’m teaching a course now for PhD students, Evolution of Nursing as a Professional Discipline.  In the first module I introduced students to Nursology and they were invited in the discussion board to respond to a question related to the Nursology site.  I have received so many comments from students and faculty who are amazed at and grateful for the many resources on the site. The Nursology blogs offer short position/perspective pieces that can spark meaningful discussion.

Dr. Eustace

Rosemary Eustice
Nursology.net is a vehicle that highlights the contribution of nursology wisdom to health and health care issues. The website continues to influence my teaching by enabling me to find new teaching and learning strategies that foster students’ acquisition of nursing knowledge to understand nursing phenomena of interest.  One thing that inspires me everyday when I share this website with my students, is to see how much the students appreciate the value of nursing theories and how much they wish for ‘good’ mentors and educators to support the next generation of competent nursologists. On the other note, as a nurse researcher, nursology.net has increased my curiosities on nursing knowledge development and how nursologists can utilize research in clarifying and developing new concepts/ideas using nursing lenses. 

Dorothy Jones
I am impressed with the global response to the nursology.net website. When I have shared this information with faculty and students at a University in Spain where I consult, the reaction has been inspirational. Doctoral students love having “free” access to the nursing theorists and their work in one central space. Faculty describe the site as “a way to connect with the nursing community “globally.” Dr. Emiko Endo from Japan recently translated a nursology blog “Covid 19- What would Margaret Newman Say” into Japanese for her students. She also presented the information to participants attending a virtual Nursing Theory Conference. Dr. Endo reported how moved the audience was by the message. When I shared the web site with a group of International Gordon International Scholars at Boston College, from Italy, Brazil and Africa they were excited to learn about the site and immediately shared it with the other faculty and students.  They noted that they now had immediate access to information about nursing theory never available to them before. The responsiveness of the site to contemporary issues makes nursology.net a living document that promotes nursing knowledge and its potential impact on the health and wellbecoming of all.

Jane Flanagan
I am teaching a new course this year – Philosophical Inquiry for Knowledge Development in Nursing.  I introduced my students to nursology.netas well as the faculty of a companion course – Strategies for Knowledge Development in Nursing. For my course, we will be using the site for the many resources it offers. I have encouraged them to read and respond to the blogs.  I think if I was to have a re-do on my syllabus, I would actually have an assignment include a meaningful contribution to the site. These students are our future nurse leaders and I know like many on this site, we want to hear from them. We have only had one class thus far, but based on the great dialogue, I think they will be joining in on the conversations on nursology.net

Jane Dickinson
I am pointing students to nursology.net in the Nursing Knowledge in Nursing Education course I teach for doctoral students in our Nursing Education program. I also have them write a blog post and an exemplar (if applicable) for submission to nursology.net as course assignments. Nursology.net is an amazing resource where students can learn about nursing theorists and their work. It also provides a wonderful opportunity for them to think and write about their own experiences with nursing knowledge.

Chloe Olivia Rose Littzen
As a PhD candidate, Nursology.net has influenced both my nursing education and the ways in which I know the world. Specifically, Nursology.net was one of the few references I was able to use for specific theory related nursing knowledge content in studying for my comprehensive exams.The organization of theory-related content made it easy for me to find what type of information I needed, and I knew that the information included was substantive in nature. As a nurse, Nursology.net has also informed the ways I know the world by keeping me up-to-date on current issues and events, while simultaneously giving me access to new nursing knowledge content I may have never come across during my own reading. 

Danny Willis
In the PhD course “Nursing Knowledge Development” I have been teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Madison we used the resources on nursology.net to guide our thinking. PhD students  were thirsty to explore the philosophical, conceptual, theoretical, and empirical aspects of the discipline in research, education, practice, and policy. Great examples are showcased on the website, which they enjoyed! As these PhD students prepare for their research and future programs of disciplinary knowledge development as leaders in the discipline, through the website they were better able to understand the value of grounding their work in the discipline, which feels like a Wonderful move in the right direction. Nursology.net is recognized as a go-to resource with the potential for nursologists to contribute to ongoing conversation, like none other! 

Patrick Palmieri
The emerging role of nursology.net in low- and middle-income countries is impactful due to our limited access to nursing knowledge. Unfortunately, knowledge is too expensive for many nurses throughout the world. The limited financial resources in many countries negatively impacts access to nursing literature, including published papers and nursing textbooks. Through nursology.net, student nurses and professors throughout the world have immediate access to contemporary nursing knowledge, including timely theoretical discourse related to current trends and events. Most importantly, nurse scholars such as I, are able to translate the resources, without copyright issues, for immediate application in our courses. This year, we continued to advance a project to translate resources from Nursology.net into Spanish for the history of nursing and theory of nursing courses. Through the efforts of the leaders and many donors at Nursology.net, the barriers to accessing knowledge have been removed. Nursology is linking scholars to students throughout the world!

What do you anticipate for the future of the discipline, and the role of nursology.net in shaping that future?

Jacqui Fawcett
I am both pessimistic and optimistic about the future of nursology—I am very concerned that our disciplinary knowledge will not survive as a continuing way to guide disciplinary advancement—there always is a tension to focus on pragmatic aspects of issues rather than the philosophical, conceptual, and theoretical aspects, and there is much too much emphasis on empirical methods—the primacy of methods for so many people is of great concern to me. In contrast, I am encouraged by the number of people who have been accessing nursology.net and by the continued publication of multiple editions of several books about nursology conceptual models and theories. Nursology.net serves as an ongoing resource for all nursologists, with blogs and other content already shaping what nursologists think about our discipline. We definitely are living our mission to be a repository for all things theory in nursology!

Marlaine Smith
While I can despair at the lack of valuing of nursing theories/models in our research, the lack of content related to nursing theories within the curricula, and the frequent absence of a clear nursing perspective in advanced practice and interprofessional practice, I’m encouraged by signs that there is a renewed appreciation of the importance of generating nursing qua nursing knowledge and practicing from nursing’s disciplinary perspective. Some of those signs… the committed group of scholars who have been attending and contributing to the annual Nursing Theory Conferences…the growing number of AAN members joining the Nursing Theory-Guided Practice Expert Panel…the recognition by CNOs about the value of practicing from a nursing theory-guided model…the lights in the eyes of students who “get it”. Nursology.net will continue to support this emergence. The site has global outreach and can bring the nursing community together around the critical issues of expanding disciplinary knowledge development and application. 

Dr. Eustace

Rosemary Eustace
I am optimistic that the future of the discipline and the role of nursology.net will continue to find a voice in health care, especially in the area of policy making. However, this process will be timely if we continue to value and acknowledge the uniqueness of nursing knowledge in influencing health care outcomes. When I think back at what we have learned so far and are learning each day with the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, I see a window of opportunity for nursologists to advocate for this unique STEM discipline and use nursing knowledge to make positive changes in health care systems and population outcomes.   

Dorothy Jones
As a discipline we continue to experience many issues, even resistance to articulating nursing science within nursing curricula, research and care delivery.  Emphasis on preparing nurses with essential content that focus on  role development with little grounding in philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of the discipline challenges knowledge development and compromises the visibility of nursing’s impact on care delivery. While the interdisciplinary / intra professional focus on contemporary issues is critical, the unique voice of nursing is essential to informing and reshaping responses to global health concerns. While the threats to advancing nursing science are apparent, there is also indications of a renewed interest in nursing’s identity and expansion of nursing knowledge. Increasing membership in nursing theory groups, attendance at nursing theory conferences and active progress by groups such as the AAN Expert Panel of Nursing Theory Guided Practice to link nursing’s knowledge and policy, offer signs of hope for the future. Nursology.net has been an important catalyst that has supported this renewed dedication to nursing knowledge. The site provides an essential platform for all nurses to share in our history, explore our future, and increase our awareness of new opportunities for nursing’s voice to influence issues of global concern. Thank you nursology.net!

Jane Flanagan
I think we are in a time that has raised our social consciousness and many nurses are questioning our role in power dynamics, sociopolitical movements, structural racism. They are asking are we going to be part of the problem or mobilize and act?  Foundational to our discipline is our ethics aimed at striving for the greater good, health and healing for all people. We can no longer tolerate an inequitable society or health care system that does not meet the needs of those we say we are committed to serve. Nursology.net  is a forum that created the space for us to have the dialogue, work through the sometimes awkward, sometimes obvious and at other times not so obvious issues. It is a safe place that allows all nurses to think, write share and activate. Our future is in not only finding our voice, but in leading the way. Nursology.net is the format and catalyst to accelerating our movement toward a universally experienced wellbecoming.

Jane Dickinson
I see nursing knowledge (and all five ways of knowing!) becoming more prominent in nursing education, research, and practice as we move further into the 21st century. Nursology.net is the preeminent source for nurse educators and leaders in research and practice to share their work, and to inspire newer nurses to take the next step in further developing and refining what we know and what we do.

Chloe Olivia Rose Littzen
I anticipate that nursing theory and philosophy, including our unique disciplinary perspective, will come to the forefront of importance in our nursing practice, research, education, and policy. Additionally, I believe that nursing theory and philosophy will be revealed to play a significant role in the well-being of our nurses and the healthcare environment. I believe Nursology.net will support nurses to be confident and grounded in their own unique disciplinary perspective, promote the use of nursing theory and philosophy in all settings, and provide a forum in which nurses can gather from across the globe to stay up-to-date on relevant issues and events in nursing.

Danny Willis
The future is in our hands and the website will continue to play a major role in orienting nurses and our PhD, DNP, Masters, and Baccalaureate students. Nurse leaders and educators in practice settings would benefit from having this website as a part of their orientation. Therefore, I see it as my responsibility to let every Chief Nursing Officer I meet with know about this resource and offer to speak to anyone in educational leadership roles in practice settings about the website. Faculty leaders must also be aware and able to speak to the substance of the discipline, which the website acts as a vehicle for. Nurse leaders will be called upon to champion ready access to the fundamentals of nursing depicted on the website and to further the ongoing evolution of disciplinary thought and communication. The future of the discipline can be bright as we nurses promote humanization, caring, healing, relationship, love for one another, diversity, belongingness, transitioning through living and dying, meaning in living and dying, and well-becoming. The future can be bright if we nurses promote openness, dialogue, healing transformative power with each other, critique, intellectual curiosity, community, and nursing ethics of our shared humanity and a deep commitment to the greater good for all of humankind and planet Earth in all its complexity and beauty. Onward nursologists! 

Sources for the opening quotes:

  1. Butterfield, P. G. (2017). Thinking Upstream: A 25-Year Retrospective and Conceptual Model Aimed at Reducing Health Inequities. ANS. Advances in Nursing Science, 40(1), 2–11. https://doi.org/10.1097/ANS.0000000000000161
  2. Newman, M. A., Smith, M. C., Dexheimer-Pharris, M., & Jones, D. A. (2008). The focus of the discipline revisited. ANS. Advances in Nursing Science, 31(1), E16–E27. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.ANS.0000311533.65941.f1

Muriel A. Poulin, EdD, RN, FAAN (1925 – 2019)

Guardian of the Discipline
In Memoriam

Contributors: Sarah B. Pasternack, MA, RN
Dorothy A. Jones EdD, APRN, FAAN, FNI

Magnet Study Author and Nursing Advocate, Educator, Leader 

Muriel Poulin was above all – a fierce advocate for nursing. Her disciplinary contributions have transcended her impact on education, practice, administration and policy. Muriel’s work embraced nursing excellence, promoting nursing’s potential in all she did. Above all, Dr. Muriel Poulin modeled what it meant to be a leader in nursing. When she stood up to speak she was articulate, clear and resounding in delivering her sustaining message that nursing made a difference in health care and nursing leaders needed to create the environment for nursing to flourish.

Muriel died on September 6th in 2019 in Sanford Maine. She began her nursing career as a Cadet Nurse, graduating from Massachusetts General Hospital School of Nursing in 1946.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing at Catholic University, a master’s degree in nursing at University of Colorado and a doctorate at Teacher’s College, Columbia University.

Muriel held several nursing positions including the nursing director at the opening of a hospital in Damascus, Syria, during the early 1950s.  She served on the faculty of the University of Kentucky, American University in Lebanon and University of Barcelona. She served as Professor and Chairperson of the Nursing Administration Graduate Program at Boston University School of Nursing from 1972 to the time of her retirement  in 1988. 

As a dedicated leader in promoting the visibility of nursing internationally, Muriel was also unwavering in her promotion of nursing through organizational action. She was a voice for nursing in the American Nurses Association (ANA) throughout her career, holding membership in the organization throughout her career and in her retirement. She was elected Second Vice President of the American Nurses’ Association in 1976 as a Massachusetts member.  

Muriel was a leading force in the early development of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN). She viewed the Academy as the “knowledge arm” of the American Nurses Association, influential, informing and reforming nursing at all levels. She advocated for the early goals of AAN especially the goal that addressed nursing knowledge, development, use and translation to inform education, practice and policy.

During the early 1980s, Muriel was one of four distinguished nurse leaders selected by the American Academy of Nursing to identify and describe clinical practice environment variables that attracted and retained well-qualified nurses.  In 1983 the groundbreaking study, Magnet Hospitals: Attraction and Retention of Professional Nurses was published.  The significant outcome from this study was the establishment of the Magnet Recognition Program by the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center (ANCC) in 1990.  As of August 2020, there are 523 Magnet-designated Hospitals in the US and 10 other countries, with 10 in Massachusetts.  Dr. Patricia Reid Ponte, President of the Board of the ANCC and Clinical Associate Professor of Nursing and Health Administration at Boston College and a former student of Muriel’s, stated “today’s interest in The Magnet Recognition Program internationally can be linked to the efforts of nursing leaders like Dr. Muriel Poulin. This program has had profound positive impact on health care delivery.  Muriel Poulin’s legacy is carried on across the globe through the nurses and advanced practice nurses working in these organizations.” 

Dr. Poulin was honored by ANA Massachusetts as a Massachusetts “Living Legend in Massachusetts Nursing” in 2011 and also as a “Living Legend in Nursing” by American Academy of Nursing in 2012.  In 2016 she was honored by induction into the Nursing Hall of Fame by the American Nurses Association.

Muriel educated and personally mentored many of the current and former nursing executives and leaders in the Boston area and beyond.  Dr. Ponte, stated: “Muriel Poulin was a force of nature – a truly extraordinary nurse, leader, researcher and educator. As a member of my dissertation committee at Boston University School of Nursing in the late 1980s, she pushed me to become a better nurse executive through her mentorship. I will be forever grateful to her. I was able to have lunch with her in the last couple of years when she attended the ANCC Magnet Conference (a real thrill for Muriel) and again at the American Academy of Nursing meeting.”

As a junior faculty (Dr. Dorothy Jones), teaching in the undergraduate nursing program at Boston University, I often wondered if I would ever be able to stand up and advocate for nursing the way Dr. Poulin did in the classroom and at a faculty meeting. One day I got my chance.  I was called to a meeting with Muriel. “I want you to teach my Masters students about health and nursing practice. They need to know this information.” I was pleased and overwhelmed by the opportunity to work with Muriel. We developed a new course that  incorporated holistic nursing concepts  into the Masters in Nursing Administration curriculum. A few years later, she was my AAN Fellowship cosponsor, an honor I will forever remember.

 Dr. Susan LaRocco, Dean and Professor of the School of Nursing, Mount St. Mary College, Newburgh, NY and a graduate of the BU graduate program in Nursing Administration, stated: “Dr. Poulin has been influential throughout my administrative career.  Whenever I had to handle a difficult situation, I could be fearless because she taught me that the patient is the center of all that we do.  When I had to deal with a patient abuse case, I thought that I was going to be fired for pursuing it.  But I knew that I was doing the right thing because a frail elderly patient had been harmed and I could not just look the other way.  After reconnecting with Muriel at a BU History of Nursing Archives event, I had the privilege of meeting her occasionally for lunch.  It was always a lively conversation with this wonderful mentor.”

Dr. Poulin  was an international nursing leader. She worked to prepare nursing organizational leaders, globally, Through her publications, teaching and presentations she influenced a generation of  nurses involved in  leading  hospital and organizational administration today.  Even in her “retirement,” Dr. Poulin exerted her leadership in the profession with service on the Board of Directors of her local Visiting Nurses Association in Maine and with the establishment and management of a very successful second-hand bookstore to benefit a local hospice.  She was a fierce advocate for Nursing and her voice will be missed by many.

A Dozen and One Ways to Love Our Discipline!

Later this week February 14th, is Valentine’s Day – the internationally recognized holiday that variously inspires young children to try their hand at making an original card expressing at least admiration for other children, and compels adults to exchange gifts symbolizing their adoration of one another.  Putting aside the commercialization of a day with deep roots in Roman religious festival traditions, I would like to consider ways in which we as nursologists can express, in our actions and deeds, our fundamental respect – and yes, our love, for the discipline to which we have committed our professional lives, and for many, our personal lives as well.

So in the spirit of the best traditions of Valentine’s day – here are a dozen and one ways to love our discipline!

  1. Express appreciation every day to a nurse who has made, or makes a difference in your life.
  2. Form a small support or interest group with a few nurse colleagues to work on a persistent challenge you are facing; include early-career nurses who are so vulnerable to these challenges.
  3. Recognize ways in which racism and other forms of discrimination are expressed in everyday ways in your work environment, acknowledge your part, and explore ways to resist and transform these situations.
  4. Practice the fine art of “active listening” whenever you encounter a nurse colleague whose point of view differs from your own, explore common ground and build bridges of understanding.
  5. Reach out to a nurse who is hurting, discouraged, or fearful for any reason;  listen to their story, and pledge to continue to listen.
  6. Settle on your own clear and succinct explanation of what nursing is all about; express this to at least two other people every day, and notice their responses to refine your message.
  7. Read one article every month, or two books a year, to learn about nursing history and the nurses who made significant contributions to our discipline.
  8. Practice one or more self-nurturing activity every day, such as physical activity (walking, yoga, tai chi), meditation, play and laughter, saying “no” as a complete sentence!
  9. Resolve to speak the truth of nursology to power at every possible opportunity.
  10. Use every avenue possible to communicate with the public – with your local community leaders, the media, and politicians.
  11. Love and care for the earth and its animal creatures as you would your most cherished patient; take at least 3 opportunities each day to teach others to love and care for the earth and for animals.
  12. Join at least one nursing organization and work to create needed changes in our discipline and in healthcare.  AND
  13. Follow Nursology.net, share the site far and wide, and participate in sharing ideas to shape the future of nursing/nursology.
Thank you to the following nursologists who have contributed to this list!
Chloe Olivia Rose Littzen
Jane Hopkins Walsh
Jess Dillard-Wright
Brandon Blaine Brown
Savina Schoenofer
Marlaine Smith
Vanessa Shields-Haas
Christina Nyirati

Visions for 2020 – the Year of the Nurse

To all Nursology.net visitors – welcome to the Year 2020!  As we enter this year, we members of the site management and blogging teams join in celebrating the “Year of the Nurse and Midwife” and offer our visions for the coming year and beyond!

The year 2020 was designated In January 2019 by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the “Year of the Nurse and Midwife”  in honor of the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale.  Far from being a mere sentimental expression recognizing the importance of nursing and midwifery worldwide, this designation is part of a worldwide effort to improve health globally by raising the status of nursing and midwifery.  Here is the statement issued in establishing this designation:

The year 2020 is significant for WHO in the context of nursing and midwifery strengthening for Universal Health Coverage. WHO is leading the development of the first-ever State of the World’s Nursing report which will be launched in 2020, prior to the 73rd World Health Assembly. The report will describe the nursing workforce in WHO Member States, providing an assessment of “fitness for purpose” relative to GPW13 targets. WHO is also a partner on The State of the World’s Midwifery 2020 report, which will also be launched around the same time. The NursingNow! Campaign, a three-year effort (2018-2020) to improve health globally by raising the status of nursing will culminate in 2020 by supporting country-level dissemination and policy dialogue around the State of the World’s Nursing report.

Nurses and midwives are essential to the achievement for universal heath coverage. The campaign and the two technical reports are particularly important given that nurses and midwives constitute more than 50% of the health workforce in many countries, and also more than 50% of the shortfall in the global health workforce to 2030. Strengthening nursing will have the additional benefits of promoting gender equity (SDG5), contributing to economic development (SDG8) and supporting other Sustainable Development Goals. (from https://www.who.int/hrh/news/2019/2020year-of-nurses/en/)

As members of the Nursology.net management team, we are welcoming the 2020 “Year of the Nurse and Midwife” with our visions for this coming year and beyond.  We hope our ideas will inspire you to join in making these values and visions a reality!

Maggie Dexheimer Pharris –

2020 vision. During an eye exam, there is a moment when just the right corrective lens falls into place and suddenly we appreciate 20/20 clarity of vision. Remarkable!  So too it is with theory. In this new decade may nurses around the world find just the right nursology theory to clearly see the path to creating a meaningful practice and equitable, accessible, and healing systems of care!

Karen Foli – 

Unity among nurses based on the care we offer and the universal experiences we share. kindness directed toward patients and fellow nurses, even when they may be unable to reciprocate in that moment. Wisdom to understand how nursing power can be harnessed to forward a sustainable, balanced work life and advocate for improvements in patient and family care. And for nurses’ truth to be spoken freely, a reality to be heard and honored.

Peggy Chinn – 

A renewal of deep respect and tireless dedication for the core values of our discipline – protection of the dignity of each individual, advocacy for the needs of those we serve, and belief in the healing potential of our caring relationships.

Marlaine Smith – 

An accelerating appreciation for the distinctive knowledge of the discipline and the unique contribution that this knowledge can make to the health, well-becoming and quality of life of those we serve. With this appreciation will come the growth of research that is focused on the theories of nursology and practice models that are theory-guided.  Our focus on human wholeness, health as well-being/becoming, the human-environment-health interrelationship and caring is what is missing and most needed in healthcare.

Jane K. Dickinson  –

My vision is that all nurses will know, value, and be guided by nursing knowledge and take caring to the next level in education, practice, and research.

Jessica Dillard-Wright – 

Because 2020 has been declared the Year of the Nurse by the World Health Organisation, my vision for the year is that nursing will embrace the emancipatory potential of our discipline, recognizing the interface between nursing knowledge, nursing praxis, and wellbeing on a global scale. In so doing, we can dismantle injustice and mobilize our profession to nurse the world.

Jacqueline Fawcett

 Now is the perfect time to accept NURSOLOGY as the proper name for our discipline and profession. Now is the perfect time to realize that all individuals licensed as Registered Nurses or equivalent designation worldwide are NURSOLOGISTS. Now is the perfect time for all nursologists to realize they are “knowledge workers” who engage in development, application, and dissemination of nursology discipline-specific knowledge so that we know and everyone else knows the what, why, how, where, and when of our work with those individuals and groups who  seek our services.

Chloe Littzen – 

My vision for nursing in 2020 is that we find unity among our diversity, despite settings, education levels, or beliefs, and work collaboratively to advance the discipline, enabling all nurses epistemic authority and well-being.

Rosemary Eustace – 

The year 2020 is a great reminder of the “200” unique contributions nurses and midwives make each day to improve health, health care, health policy and nursing across diverse settings.  As we celebrate this milestone, let us light our lamps in unity to advance nursing knowledge that is congruent with contemporary health care demands. Let us keep the Power of Nursology alive!

Marian Turkel – 

Vision for 2020: Nursing theory will guide nursing education, nursing practice and nursing research. RN-BSN, BSN and MSN programs will have at least one nursing theory course in the curriculum.  DNP and PhD curriculum will have 2 nursing theory courses.  Nursing faculty and Registered Nurses in the practice setting doing research will use a nursing theory to guide their practice and research.  The Nursology leaders will collaborate with the American Academy of Nursing to organize a conference similar to the Wingspread Conference. The American Nurses Credentialing Center will collaborate with the Magnet Recognition Program©® to require hospitals to have a nursing theory as the foundation for achieving Magnet©® Status Recognition.